Reginald Orton
1834 The Lancet  
HAVING twice observed in the present volume of THE LANCET, remarks on the efficacy of the hydro-oxide of iron as an antidote to arsenic, I was induced to make the following experiment to determine how far it might be relied upon. As there are some interesting facts resulting therefrom, I forward them for insertion, thinking they will not be found unworthy a place in the pages of THE LANCET. I shall first give a detail of each experiment, confining myself to the facts, as they occurred, while
more » ... animals were under the influence of the poison, and of the appearances presented after death. I shall then proceed with the inferences to which they give rise, and conclude with some remarks on the nature of the death resulting from arsenic. Three rabbits were treated in the following manner : -The first had full three grains of white arsenic given in the state of small granules. The second was treated with a solution prepared by mixing six grains of powdered white arsenic with ten drachms of the hydro-oxide of iron, prepared according to the directions given at page 126 of this volume. I attempted to give half of this solution only, but, from the difficulty experienced in introducing it, the greater part, if not all, was lost. A second attempt was made with the remaining half, of which also a considerable portion was wasted. Some was, however, evidently swallowed. 3 The third was dosed with four grains of the poison, in powder, made into a bolus, 3 with three scruples of the oxide of iron. They were at liberty in my room, both ; before and after taking the arsenic, and, when they had familiarized themselves ; with the furniture, seemed much to enjoy the run of the smooth carpet. First Experirne2it. The first was treated abont twelve minutes before four p.m., but evinced no sign of the effect of the poison till four o'clock, when she became dull and moped. This lasted for some time, but towards evening (about seven o'clock) she perfectly recovered, and, not a little to my surprise, I found that about ten she had again commenced her gambols on the carpet. At half past ten she was put into a basket apparently quite well. Next morning, however, at eight, I found her looking miserably ill, but still there were not evinced any signs of pain; she only moped. About ten she became much worse, and died at ten minutes to twelve (twentv hours after taking the poison) in great agony, which was expressed by violent contortions and distressing screeches, for some time before death. ! Morbid Appearances. -I immediately opened her for examination, and was surprised to find the heart still contracting; on close inspection, however, this action, I found, was confined to the right auricle. These contractions were not mere fluttering actions of the part, but full, decided, and complete contractions. The whole viscus appeared distended. The contraction of the right auricle went on not a little to my surprise, and thirteen minutes after death was more powerful than when the chest was first opened. At ten minutes to one the action was still going on, but the contractions were now varied, being at one time rapid, at another slow. At four minutes past one, the action became confirmed and slow, and thus continued till twenty-eight minutes past one (being one hour and thirty-eight minutes after death). I am perfectly aware that such an assertion will be received with scepticism by my readers, and am, therefore, rejoiced at being able to support my statement by the testimony of witnesses; one of whom (Mr. Annesley junior, a gentleman residing in the same house, and who has allowed me to make use of his name) noted the time. Not only did he, but three or four members of his family also, witness the fact, and, I am sure, will willingly verify my statements. I noted particularly the manner of the con-
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(02)96494-9 fatcat:egresbhm45bchdhz2icmgouzim